Monday, June 14, 2010

KidCare veto protects children from violence
I support Gov. Parnell's action in vetoing expansion of the Denali KidCare program because it would pay for abortions.

A hard pill to swallow
Last month was the 50th anniversary of "the pill." In the 1960's, the pill was heralded as a development that would liberate women from male dominance and lead to fewer divorces, fewer unwanted pregnancies and fewer abortions. It is now clear, however, that things did not turn out that way.

Humanized wolf is still just an animal
I am a 45-year Alaska resident and have been involved in Fish & Game issues the entire time.

Hedge funds are gambling
As a retired state employee and an Alaskan, I read with dismay the June 7 Juneau Empire article on hedge fund investment of the Public Employee Retirement Fund and the Permanent Fund. I would like to request Gov. Parnell to direct Permanent Fund head Mike Burns to immediately start an orderly withdrawal of all hedge fund activities and that they not be allowed in the future.

Tuesday is ratepayers' chance to be heard
As everyone has heard or read in the paper, the RCA has agreed to come to Juneau based on the comments it received on their website. This is an opportunity for the people of Juneau to express how we feel about the proposed rate increase being requested by AEL&P.

Mother: Abused girl is 'going to recover'
Reina Stone was sassy as far as two years olds go. She would tell you how it was, even if you didn't understand her, and then flash a smile that took the air out of a room.

Soup kitchen tries out its green thumb
For the last week, residents of the local shelter and soup kitchen the Glory Hole have been literally laying the groundwork for a community garden and rooftop garden in which they will grow their own food.

Photos: Fresh produce at farmers market
Local shoppers examine tomato plants before making a purchase at the Juneau Farmers Market Saturday morning inside the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. The JFM will be open every Saturday through August 14 at the JACC from 10 am to noon. Weather permitting, it will be on the JACC lawn in conjunctin with the weekly Juneau Artists Market. Gardeners, farmers, fishers, bakers and artisan food makers are welcome. Weekly pre-registration must be completed by noon on Thursdays.

Man killed tying boat to dock
JUNEAU - A Washington man was killed while securing a boat at a Juneau harbor in the Mendenhall Valley, according to police.

Audit grades schools' literacy programs
Several in the Juneau School District administration and the school board say they are unhappy with the "cursory" data analysis in a recent audit of the district's elementary school literacy efforts. Even so, they say it's a good starting place for reaching their goal of 100 percent reading proficiency among students.

Photo: View from the top
Devils Paw is shown from atop Mt. Juneau. Hikers moving across the Mt. Juneau ridge heading towards Granite Creek know they are going far enough along the mountain tops when they can look to the left and see Devils Paw. The ridge will start to funnel to the head of Granite Creek where hikers can follow down to bisect Perseverance Trail. The Granite Creek streams are covered over with snow right now so hikers should be wary of walking down the middle of the snow fields.

Photo: Lookout above Granite Creek
An Alaska marmot emerges from a rocky burrow hideaway atop a boulder above Granite Creek on Friday.

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Police & Fire
Juneau police and fire officials reported:

Photo: Tending to the garden
Doug Sturm weeds his garlic patch at the Juneau Community Garden on Wednesday. The warm and dry weather has made given plants a huge boost in Juneau short growing season.

50 Floyd Dryden students become Junior Rangers
Juneau now has 50 new Junior Rangers, thanks to a partner program between the Juneau Ranger District and Rebecca Farrell's sixth grade class at Floyd Dryden Middle School.

Douglas Fourth of July Committee selects Grand Marshals Kearney and Ruby
Juneau - Though they have nothing whatsoever to do with Juneau's 2010 Fourth of July parade theme, "America's Kids," two Douglas postal workers have been selected as the community's grand marshals for the Douglas parade: Levi Kearney and Dean Ruby, both long-standing residents of Douglas.

Photo: CHOICE program makes Taylor White donation
The money was raised at a car wash on April 17 and a carnival on May 22. Juniors Sheron Schramm (left) and Rebecca Scharen (right) are shown presenting the check to Carol White.

Getting around to procrastination
My fatal flaw is procrastination. If I can leave something until tomorrow, trust me, I will.

Education in an African context: Revolution through ownership
Brazilian educator and pedagogic theorist Paulo Friere once said, “to incite revolutionary change in a group of people, efforts must be imbued with a profound trust in the people and their creative power.” To achieve this, as he says, “the revolutionary must be a partner of the student (or the people) in their relations with them.”

Hand, Margeson to wed
Becky Hand, of Juneau, and John Margeson, of Poway, Calif. will be married on Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, 2012, in San Diego, with the reception to follow in Carlsbad, Calif.

Mittleman, Stedman to wed
Rachel Mittleman, of Athens, Ohio, and Jakob Stedman, of Juneau, will be married June 12, 2010 at Glacier Gardens in Juneau, followed by a reception at the Eaglecrest Ski Lodge.

Aycock-Riley, Matthews to wed
Jamaica Aycock-Riley, of Juneau, and K.C. Matthews, of Sapulpa, Okla. will be married on August 9, 2010 in a private ceremony at Skater's Cabin. The reception will be at a friend's home in Juneau the following Saturday.

Host families wanted for exchange students
Youth for Understanding is looking for loving families to host exchange students in Juneau.

Shepherd of the Valley to host Fourth of July Party
Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church celebrates 25 years of ministry in Mendenhall Valley this year. In 1985, a group of 41 families met at Floyd Dryden Middle School and formed Shepherd of the Valley. The church later moved to its current location on Mendenhall Loop Road across from Taku Boulevard.

Thanks for Birth Center fundraiser contributions
Thank you donors and participants at the Juneau Family Health and Birth Center's 'Spring Into Summer' fundraiser!

Thanks to Mt. Roberts tram and others for Raptor Center donations
The Juneau Raptor Center would like to sincerely thank the Mt. Roberts Tram for donating all-day ticket proceeds for tram rides on Juneau Appreciation Day held on May 8. This is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for us. The Mt. Roberts Tram has been arranging for JRC to receive this donation every year for the past five years on Juneau Appreciation Day.

Thanks for the Tanana rail bridge
The State of Alaska and the communities of Fairbanks and North Pole should join me in thanking Rep. Mike Kelly and Governor Sean Parnell for supporting the rail bridge over the Tanana River. This bridge is the first step in completing our rail connection to Fort Greely and to Canada. More importantly, it provides dependable year-round access to the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. This training area is one of the largest in the country. Reliable access provides an exceptional opportunity to all branches of our military to exercise and train in a realistic and challenging environment without public disruption.

Thanks for help with Gastineau School's Twin Lakes event
Gastineau Elementary School would like to thank Costco and Alaskan and Proud stores for providing healthy snacks for the school children who raised money for the American Diabetes Association. To complete the fundraising event, the 30 children ran or walked 2 miles at Twin Lakes and ate the snacks afterward.

Thanks to March of Dimes walkers
On behalf of the March of Dimes, we would like to thank our March for Babies walkers who made our event a success, even those who weren't sure we should move the event inside! We moved it into the Dimond Field House and we were full of moms and babies in strollers, kids and dads and grandmas and grandpas. It was fabulous. We had 208 walkers this year! A big round of applause to the committee who had the vision to move it inside and make it a more kid-friendly event: Kristy Tibbles, Susan Oldacres, Stacy Cunningham, Joleen Langel and Gina White, Mike Tibbles, Robert and Sandy Edwardson, Amanda Holland and Stew Rowland.

Thanks for help fixing Boy Scout Camp
The Boy Scouts would like to thank local companies Valley Paint Center and Southeast Interiors and many local volunteers for helping to spruce up the cabins at the Eagle River Boy Scout Camp. The cabins had not been painted since they were built over 30 years ago and were covered with moss, mold, and looked worn down. With help from these local businesses and many Scout volunteers, we were able to power wash the exteriors and paint many of the cabins inside and out. Cabins that once looked ready for retirement now look like they might take on another 30 years of Boy Scout Camps. Local businesses like Valley Paint Center and Southeast Interiors contribute to the quality and uniqueness of our wonderful community. Thank you to the volunteers, Valley Paint Center and Southeast Interiors!

Thanks for help with 'Fill the Boot' drive
The International Fire Fighter's Association Local 4303 would like to thank the Juneau community for coming out for their annual "Fill the Boot" drive to supporting the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Taking life and death seriously
When Rev. Kenneth Torquil MacLean was here a few years ago, he told us that religion basically was all about "taking life and death seriously." The older I get, the more I recognize the universal truth in that statement. Most if not all religions provide a moral compass for living a good life, one that looks beyond one's immediate needs to the needs of the family, the community and institutions. All have something to say about death and its inevitability, and most mention some form of afterlife.

Reed Raymond Roy Schonfeldt Jr.
Former Juneau resident Reed Raymond Roy Schonfeldt Jr. died April 18, 2010 in Prescott, Ariz. He was 63.

Margaret Mary Shepard
Former Juneau resident Margaret Mary Shepard died May 26, 2010, in Gig Harbor, Wash. She was 87.

US must investigate flotilla incident before picking sides
Once again, the United States stands against the entire world in its unwavering defense of Israel. We are the only nation accusing the activists on the Free Gaza Flotilla of perpetrating offenses that justified the Israeli Navy assault in international waters in which nine civilians were killed. But the loud condemnations by members of Congress of a mission that included hundreds of American activists aren't based in fact, and we should be asking why they are so eager to suspend our cherished value of presumed innocence.

Pro: Guns in America
Dallas - Besides a police station, the safest place in America on April 19 would likely have been any of the numerous Patriot's Day rallies held around the country where thousands of people, many carrying firearms, celebrated the opening shots in America's war for independence.

Land bill will ensure Native culture prospers
Friday was Kamehameha Day in Hawai'i, a holiday celebrating the unification of the Hawaiian Islands in the face of an ever-increasing intrusion of the outside world centuries ago.

Con: Guns in America
Washington - Are armed mobs becoming socially acceptable? Watching television coverage of gun owners eager to brandish their firearms in public spaces, that appears to be the desired goal of "open-carry" advocates.

World Cup gives host South Africa a chance to shine
The following editorial first appeared in the Kansas City Star:

TOE cartoon

On Helen Thomas
Here's some bitter irony for you.

Comm. makes recommendations for polar bear hunting
ANCHORAGE - A joint commission is recommending lifting the ban on harvesting polar bears for traditional and cultural purposes in Russia.

Anchorage schools could add community facilities
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage high school and middle school complex could add a clinic, community lecture hall and other facilities under a proposal to be considered by the school board.

Petition to recall mayor certified in North Pole
FAIRBANKS - The North Pole city clerk has certified the recall petition against Mayor Doug Isaacson.

Union establishes fund for injured police officer
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage police union has established a fund to help a patrol officer shot and wounded Wednesday as she made a traffic stop.

Homeless shelter reaches recycling milestone
FAIRBANKS - A Fairbanks homeless shelter has reached a milestone in recycling.

Coast Guard medevacs US man near British Columbia
JUNEAU - Coast Guard aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter safely medevaced a 50-year-old U.S. citizen off the motor vessel Horizon Kodiak 230 miles southeast of Sitka on Sunday.

Nenana man charged in theft spree
FAIRBANKS - Alaska State Troopers arrested a Nenana man accused of stealing from vehicles and businesses in the town southwest of Fairbanks.

Kings looking shaky in another Alaska river
KENAI - State biologists say it looks like another Alaska river is looking shaky when it comes to king salmon escapement goals.

Murderer headed back to prison
ANCHORAGE - A woman who was working as a prostitute when she killed a customer during a robbery will have to serve the remainder of her sentence.

Magnitude 5.0 earthquake rattles Alaska peninsula
FAIRBANKS - The Alaska Earthquake Information Center reports a magnitude 5.0 earthquake in the Alaska Peninsula region. The moderate quake was felt in Dillingham but there were no reports of damage.

Utah man charged in Alaska assault
TRAPPER CREEK - Alaska State Troopers say a 23-year-old Utah man who refused to allow a family member to leave a lodge has been charged with kidnapping.

Alaskan NORAD region to participate in exercise
ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE - The Alaskan U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, along with its Continental United States and Canadian counterparts, will participate in Exercise Amalgam Dart from Tuesday through Thursday off the coasts of Alaska, western Canada and the northwestern United States.

Begich meets with Supreme Court nominee Kagan
JUNEAU - U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, met last week with Elena Kagan, the U.S. Solicitor General nominated by President Obama to fill the pending vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

GCLL welcomes Petersburg little league softball to Juneau
Petersburg's first year little league fastpitch softball program is coming to Juneau with Majors (ages 10-12) and Juniors (ages 13-14) softball teams the week of June 14-17.

New law - right to know or attack on the system?
Gov. Sean Parnell has signed into law new disclosure requirements for those seeking to place initiatives before Alaska voters.

In Gulf disaster, echoes, lessons of Exxon Valdez spill
ANCHORAGE - With their futures dark and confused, desperate residents of the Gulf of Mexico are turning to veterans of Alaska's Exxon Valdez oil spill for clues about what they're facing. The word from Alaska, whether it's about cleaning up, economic recovery, despondency or lawsuits: Expect years of deep trouble, but there are ways to cope.

Alaska's pension suit settled for $500M
Alaska officials announced late Friday that they'd won a record actuarial malpractice settlement from a consulting firm they say knowingly gave bad advice to the Alaska Retirement Management Board, costing the state billions.

Neighborhood gardens in Anchorage bugged by bunnies
ANCHORAGE - You'd never think a peaceful-seeming, old East Anchorage neighborhood with well-kept houses and mature trees would become a war zone.

Alaska Senate poll on special session falls short
JUNEAU - A poll of the Alaska state Senate failed to show enough support for lawmakers to call themselves into special session over vetoed health insurance legislation.

Princess Kathleen oil recovery to eclipse $10M
The cost to recover about 110,000 gallons of bunker oil from a sunken ship off Lena Point has surpassed $10 million and likely will cost more than $12 million, U.S. Coast Guard officials said this week.

Alaska lobbying initiative campaign continues
ANCHORAGE - Foes of an Alaska initiative to restrict government lobbying and campaign spending say they'll continue their campaign even though supporters have suspended their efforts.

Photo: Serenading the bears
Sitka Summer Music Festival cellist Armen Ksajikian plays for the resident bears Thursday at the Fortress of the Bears bear sanctuary in Sitka. Ksajikian was inspired by the acoustics at the converted pulp mill clarifier tank and played a selection of music, including a composition by Hector Berlioz for the bears. With Ksajikian is Les Kinnear, director of the sanctuary.

Anchorage homicide suspect has been pardoned
ANCHORAGE - A man charged with murder in a June 2 shooting in Anchorage had been pardoned by Gov. Frank Murkowski in the final days before Murkowski left office in 2006.

Parnell misses candidate forum, gets criticized
ANCHORAGE - Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has drawn criticism for not appearing a candidate forum in Wasilla after also missing a debate last month in Fairbanks.

Palin more pragmatic than friends and foes expect
JUNEAU - Sarah Palin the political pragmatist? Go figure.

Barrymore movie about whales being shot in Alaska
ANCHORAGE - How's this for a plot twist? The next major movie about Alaska is actually being filmed here.

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